Some cars look fantastic. Others are exceptionally reliable and well-built. These days, more than a few have outstanding performance. All of these factors can contribute to how much a person likes a car, and that’s just part of 37 different metrics used by J.D. Power to compile its APEAL study.
Standing for Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout, the cleverly crafted acronym indeed measures a vehicle’s appeal to its owners. And this year, Tesla is the most appealing of all. Sort of, anyway.
“The APEAL Study measures an owner’s emotional attachment to their new vehicle and in what areas that vehicle may not be delivering on all of the positive experiences that were hoped for,” explained Dave Sargent, J.D Power vice president of automotive quality. “Understanding this is just as valuable to automakers as knowing about quality issues and owner acceptance of new technologies. The goal for automakers is to delight customers on all these dimensions. Some are better than others at doing this.”
With all the possible points added up, the study measures manufacturers on a 1,000-point scale. Automakers are grouped into different categories, but the overall scale remains the same so all brands can be compared apples-to-apples. Technically speaking, Porsche is the best-of-the-best at 881, followed by Lincoln at 876, Cadillac at 874, Dodge at 872, and Ram at 871. Porsche, Lincoln, and Cadillac are all grouped in the Premium category, with Dodge and Ram listed in the mass-market category.
But what about Tesla? We did say the EV automaker was the best, and with a score of 896, it’s easily above Porsche at the top. However, the result isn’t eligible because Tesla apparently doesn’t give J.D. Power permission to interview vehicle owners in 15 states. The result comes from interviews and surveys in the 35 remaining states, but since it’s not complete, Tesla’s number one ranking is unofficial.
Similarly, Tesla didn’t meet ranking requirements for J.D. Power’s 2019 Initial Quality study. Dodge scored top honors for that study, with Ram also scoring well. The Porsche 911 achieved the best overall initial quality score, all of which matches closely to the APEAL index.
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